So our six hour discharge period may have lasted a little over 26 hours but just before 16:30 (BST) on Wednesday 29th September 2010 Amélie Iris Bagnall left hospital into an inclement autumnal afternoon replete with leaden sky and nondescript rain and began her journey home. She endured her first M25 traffic jam and arrived in Stanwell Moor at around 17:00.
The day had been one of frustration and anticipation. Anticipation of being discharged and frustration at the time it all took. After a very straightforward birth and Amélie being Lucinda’s second child we were told that we were on a standard six hour discharge. We were delighted and built our hopes up that we would be home that very evening. However, due to the busy nature of St. Peters yesterday (one baby had to be delivered in triage because there were no beds on the labour ward) we were effectively neglected for that entire six hour period and were unable to find anyone that could let us home. Lucinda, readied herself for a night in hospital but with the glimmer of hope that they would be discharged around lunchtime.
By lunchtime Amélie had had all her neonatal checks, and had been give a clean bill of health. She was given her BCG and all looked good. So we phoned Lucinda’s parents and said that it would be nice that when we are discharged that they pop round to our house so that Éowyn would welcome Amélie into her house rather than come into her house and find a strange noisy thing taking up her floorspace. Lunchtime came and went. The list of couples waiting for discharge was getting longer and longer. Apparently, the ward was having an inspection and so the senior nurse and midwife who would sign the release papers and ready the paperwork for social services and our G.P. were otherwise engaged. Frustratingly, instead of just telling this from the onset we were told ‘another 15 minutes‘, ‘another 30 mins‘, ‘soon‘. If they had have been honest with us and said that it might be mid to late afternoon, we would have asked Nanny and Granddad to have brought Éowyn to the hospital to meet her little sister, instead it is now Amélie’s second night and she still hasn’t met her big sister. That will be in tomorrow’s update!
So as I sit here and type this post, Amélie is nursing next door. She has hardly slept today this is partly due to her being very nosy and curious but mainly because she is suffering from wind. Fortunately we had anticipated this and bought some Infacol. That was a lesson learnt from Éowyn, however it is amazing how much you forget (or repress) and now we have all that learning again. The major difference between Amélie and Éowyn was that due to Éowyn’s condition she spend the first few days in St. Peters I.C.U. Therefore we never got her dressed for the first time, or put her first nappy on or spent this amount of time with her, alone. It has not harmed Éowyn in any way (although it might do if ever she reads this in the future!) but had maybe not prepared us for the lack of attention we received after the birth. Lack of attention is probably a little strong but obviously when there is no concerns everyone is a little more relaxed. Don’t misunderstand me, I would much rather this than going home with your wife on an ante-natal ward with no baby and your little one in an incubator struggling to breathe.
Tomorrow is a big day for Amélie, she will receive a visit from the midwife, but more importantly will meet her big sister and Nanny and Granddad (we are unsure how that is going to go down with Éowyn) . It is possible that her cousins will pop by as I know that they are excited about the new family member.
Before the obligatory photos, just a word of thanks for all the text messages and facebook messages we have received. Also a big Happy Birthday to my sister Elizabeth, sorry that Amélie’s card is late but she didn’t get a chance to go down the shops until yesterday!
Peace and Love